Misclassified workers for the baked goods maker, Flower Foods Inc., have settled their claims for unpaid wages. Flower Foods has agreed to pay them $7.6 million to resolve claims that they failed to pay their distributors overtime pay. The lawsuit had alleged that these distributors were wrongfully classified as independent contractors who were considered exempt from overtime. The case which was brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and Vermont state law now stands to benefit almost 100 distributors under the settlement.
The distributors had alleged that even though Flower Foods Inc. had contracted them to sell and deliver products, their job responsibilities were strictly that of employees. As independent contractors, these workers should have had more say in their day to day structure but most of their routes and customers were fully dictated by the company. When these misclassified distributors worked over 40 hours per workweek they went unpaid for overtime hours at one and half times their regular hourly rate.
Workers that are considered independent contractors are often misclassified as such by companies in order to cut costs and save on benefits. If you are an independent contractor and believe that your contractor treats you more like an employee without any of the perks that come with it, such as overtime pay, you may have a claim. Feel free to call our firm, Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP, for a free and confidential consultation at (212) 300-0375. You can also visit our website for additional information regarding your rights here.